Beginner scanner help please.

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AirDan
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Beginner scanner help please.

Postby AirDan » 17 Apr 2017, 19:58

Hi Guys, looking for some advice if you don't mind. I'm looking to buy my first scanner. I did have one many years ago as a child but I have no understanding of the equipment or terminology, (I'm working on it) please forgive my ignorance. I'd like to purchase a scanner to listen to primarily air band. Preferably handheld as I do a fair amount of driving about and long boring night shifts. Where do I look and how much am I looking at for a decent first set up? What trusted websites do you guys buy from?

stratocaster
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby stratocaster » 18 Apr 2017, 11:48

Hi AirDan! Firstly look at your budget, then you can go from there. Most scanners do cover the civil air band. There are a lot to choose from. You may want to look at details such as other frequencies covered and if it has a few special features like alpha tagging ( the ability for you to name the frequency, for instance here on my scanner that has this feature -most do nowadays, I can have 121.200 on airband to read as EDI Approach or Edinburgh approach, depends on how generous the scanner programme is at allowing you to fully title your frequencies)
Most recommend a Uniden bearcat UBC125xlt. Others will tell you they recommend another make and model. It's down to what you want to hear and how good a performance you get from it. Unfortunately the shop I got my handheld from no longer trades, but there are many like radioworld, nevada radio etc. Hope that helps.
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Admiral
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby Admiral » 18 Apr 2017, 17:17

If airband is your thing then be careful of older sets, some are FM only and don't cover the band, and some that do only have 25kc steps, try and get one with a minimum of 12.5kc steps, and ideally one that also has 8.33kc steps.

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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby AirDan » 19 Apr 2017, 21:32

Thank you. I have seen the uniden bearcat 125xlt in my local maplin store and read the reviews which seemed good. How important is location? I'm on the north side of Nottinghamshire. So I have east midlands and the Robin Hood airport fairly close by but not on my doorstep.

stratocaster
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby stratocaster » 20 Apr 2017, 11:48

Location is secondary to equipment. If using a good outdoor antenna, you'll pull in quite a distance from where you are regardless.
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stu
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby stu » 29 Apr 2017, 06:34

If your just looking for a super basic scanner before spending more money then you might find this offer helpful. http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/tsc-100r-200- ... nner-n20kq . It seems to be selling for around £60 elsewhere so I've just picked one up - have only had a very brief play with it but have been impressed so far with its level of sensitivity even with the supplied whip compared to price (£36) and reviews are pretty good for this unit. Be warned though - it is basic. No military airband, alpha tagging, pc programming or any advanced functions but a good starter unit to let you dip your toes in the water ( oh it also has maritime bands if thats of interest :D ) and have a play too see if this hobby is for you. At the end of the day if you decide to upgrade later you can probably fling this on eBay and get most of your money back. Or keep it as a second unit.

Strato is also right re antenna. Any unit is only as good as that. But from where you are located I suspect you're also under a couple of airways at least so you'll get that traffic as well as the stuff going into local airports. Everyone on here can help with frequencies etc.
DX:Tecsun S2000,Tecsun PL660,Tecsun PL310-ET,Sony SRF-59,Wellbrook ALA1530LN
Scan:Uniden UBC3500XLT, Yaesu VR120D, TSC-100R
Ham:Baofeng UV-5RE

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LeakyFeeder
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby LeakyFeeder » 29 Apr 2017, 12:40

If u want clear , loud comms on airband buy a transceiver..they are head n shoulders over scanners..
I use an Icom A6E both for when im.flying as a backup and also for general earwigging n its streets ahead of any of my scanners...

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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby AMX97 » 05 May 2017, 12:36

Hi I'm newish to all this I got a cheap scanner for Christmas and only really getting into it now I normally just went out with my camera and hoped to see something good. I currently own a MoonRaker, Air control M10 multiband radio. is it actually any good please let me know and what would anyone recommend for a budget scanner whilst I get used the hobby

Thanks.

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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby stratocaster » 08 May 2017, 07:48

It will get the civil airband only, no military stuff though.It also does marine to an extent and will pick up FM radio only, as in Radio 1 etc. Change the rubber duck for a telescopic antenna, and you may extend the range of pick up for civil airband and the marine frequencies. Since it is limited in what it can do, you can only expect it to cover what is within its capabilities and limitations. It'll be useful, but see the posts above for ideas. We're all here to help, so feel free to ask, as we all started at the beginning when we took up the hobby! As for a budget scanner, it all depends what you are willing to spend, but see Stu's post in this thread.
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Admiral
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby Admiral » 09 May 2017, 07:58

If you do elect to go for the Uniden 125xlt then check this thread by a TM1 member who has written free to use control software for it.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=48615

scanhermit
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby scanhermit » 10 May 2017, 20:58

I have the xlt125 and usually use it out and about with a Moonraker MRW100 antenna. It has both civil and military air bands and is a good scanner.

I've had aircraft from 100 miles away with the scanner indoors. My telescopic improves reception but is a bit unwieldy for in car use. I think Nagoya do a hinged telescopic which makes in car use easier.

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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby AMX97 » 11 May 2017, 12:18

Hi scanhermit where can I buy xlt125 without getting ripped off

Thanks
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Admiral
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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby Admiral » 11 May 2017, 12:58

Amazon usually offer the most competitive prices on this kind of item, or if you want one this afternoon then Maplin will be happy to sell you one for a 20% markup.

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Re: Beginner scanner help please.

Postby scanhermit » 11 May 2017, 19:01

Admiral got there before me. I bought mine off Amazon. Try EBay as well.


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